by Brad Bowyer
Fait Accompli, a thing that has already happened or been decided upon before those affected hear about it, leaving them with no option but to accept it.
Yes, we had the theatre of the Committee, which included the grilling of any who wanted to share their POV as though they were criminals in a court of law, but I understand the normal steps of how a bill and law are created were not followed as they usually are with steps shortened or omitted to limit 3rd party input.
And then we had the Main Stream Media (MSM) theatre with all the fearmongering of why Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Bill (POFMA) is needed and the selling of why we should trust the People’s Action Party (PAP), including the “Ah Lian meets Minister Shanmugam” sales video, with these overreaching powers but nowhere were anybody’s question or concerns ever really listened to or answered.
Apparently we all “didn’t understand” or “got our facts wrong” or “misinterpreted” or “made mistakes” or “were not listening properly” or one of the many statements essentially saying if you don’t believe what I want you to believe you must be wrong, misguided or have a negative agenda.
All we had in the MSM and then in the Parliamentary “debates” was an ever-adjusting sales pitch and an ever more frustrated “sales team” trying to convince us to believe what they had already decided upon and having challenges deflecting the many valid points and questions posed or attacking those making them feel awkward.
And so today, the 9th of May, after POFMA was passed upon party lines with the PAP Member of Parliament (MP)s without sales scripts silently lining up behind the proposers, one of whose reasons for saying independent or judicial checks and balances are not needed is that parliament can keep wayward ministers in check, we must wake to this new reality.
So why in my graphic do I say there is “opportunity in Fait Accompli”?
Because we can learn from it.
Especially those standing in the middle ground and our many new citizens, which despite my 30 plus years of being here, I am counted among.
What makes society work, and certainly a public government relationship is a shared belief in moral code and an atmosphere of trust that allows us to work together even though we may not have close personal relationships with everyone we meet.
This shared moral code and trust give us confidence that we and our families have a safe space in which to operate, invest and grow in, that our contributions are valued and appreciated and that we have a sense of certainty about our world.
This morning we must hold those involved in bringing this terrible “Fait Accompli” into being up to the lens of our personal moral codes and ask do these people still align with us and with the ethics of how we have been told our society and “democratic” government should function?
And do we still have a sense of certainty about our country, its future and our place in it?
This morning we should all be looking hard at the colour white and wondering do we still have the same beliefs and trust we had in it as before?
Do they really represent who we are and what we want in our elected officials?
Even more so when we remember other recent acts by them.
The lady publicly listed among prominent Indians in Singapore, Madam Halimah Yacob, who is now our reserved Malay Elected president.
Our experiential and historically noted first elected president Mr Ong Teng Cheong who is no longer counted as such for expedience sake.
And the Charles Chong misinformation saga to win in Punggol East during the 2015 elections that have never been answered or accounted for amongst other actions.
Are these people still worthy of our trust, especially to be arbiters of Fake and Misleading acts, other than maybe they have gained some expertise committing them so should be familiar with what they are in practice?
Recognising our new world today, we must all start to think about how to operate in it as it is no longer the one we had before.
For the middle ground, I hope you will approach everything you see and hear from the government with a healthier dose of scepticism than maybe you have done before so as not to be even more badly burned in the future.
For the New citizens I hope you will not automatically give your loyalty to these people, even if on the surface they seem better than those you may have left behind, for now, you can start to see behind the façade and understand that in whichever country you make your home you can only really rely upon yourselves and your fellow citizens to ensure your future.
And for us all lets think about how do we now approach our daily lives, especially our conversations whether in public and now private mediums, and continue to say and do what we know is Morally and Ethically correct using facts that we know are true so it makes it as hard as possible for them to justify using an unjust law against us.
Our future is only curtailed once we stop making an effort to maintain and grow it.
Let’s not be sad this day because we feel we have been abused by this process and are fearful of this new law but feel empowered that we now know the true nature of those who seek to rule us by that law while exempting themselves from those very same rules.
At least we can sleep at night knowing where we stand in our own hearts and what we believe in where others may have more difficulty.
And we can start building better bonds with our neighbours and those alternative voices who stand with are and share similar moral and ethical feelings that we do while seeking to limit the negative effects of those who we now know do not.
There is always a silver lining if you look for it.
This was first published on Brad Bowyer’s Facebook page and reproduced with permission.